Los Patos Swell Statistics, May: All Swell – Any Wind
The figure describes the range of swells directed at Los Patos through a typical May. It is based on 2200 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the shore so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about Los Patos. In the case of Los Patos, the best grid node is 35 km away (22 miles).
The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell sizes and directions, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but lacks direction information. Five colours represent increasing wave sizes. Very small swells of less than 0.5m (1.5 feet) high are shown in blue. These were forecast only 6% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red illustrates highest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell was forecast.
The diagram indicates that the most common swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was ESE, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the E. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Los Patos and offshore. We lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To simplify things we don't show these in the rose plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Los Patos, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average May, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Los Patos run for about 94% of the time.
IMPORTANT: Beta version feature! Swell heights are open water values from NWW3. There is no attempt to model near-shore effects. Coastal wave heights will generally be less, especially if the break does not have unobstructed exposure to the open ocean.